Dorset County Council improves employee collaboration with SharePoint and FLEX

Dorset County Council improves employee collaboration with SharePoint and FLEX

DCC logo stacked green RGB (00000002)

Dorset CC

Key benefits

  • Substantial saving
  • Accelerated Start Up
  • Simplified Procurement
  • Improved Security, Governance and Document Control
  • Empowers Users
  • Less Reliance on IT Department
  • Improved Collaboration and Engagement

 

Dorset County Council (DCC) provides services to over 418,300 local citizens and employs over 14,000 people, the majority of whom are based remotely from the Council’s headquarters.

To facilitate the realisation of the “One Dorset” agenda, which focuses on bringing everyone together across the Council and creating a greater sense of unity, DCC needed to improve the way colleagues connected with each other.

Challenge

With many of DCC’s employees working remotely the Council was becoming increasingly aware of the impact this had on the overall organisation. They identified the following areas that needed to be addressed:

  • Work being conducted in silos with little collaboration or awareness, creating duplication and repetition
  • Communications solely being driven by Corporate Comms with little two way engagement
  • Limitations with their current infrastructure and the ability to collaborate with external partners

As part of the due diligence process Dorset evaluated a variety of implementation options and their findings yielded a range of costly bespoke solutions, none of which delivering within their available budget or timescales.

The implementation of effective information management and collaboration was identified as key to supporting DCC’s goal and specifically, DCC decided to deploy SharePoint augmented by the FLEX Automation toolset.

Solution

DCC were looking for a content managed, publishing intranet solution that could encompass all their needs around governance and security.

Philippa Purchase, SharePoint Project Manager at DCC said: “The Council had no existing SharePoint infrastructure and limited experience of the environment.  We were keen to implement our solution quickly in order to deliver business benefits as early as possible and decided to start with the intranet in order to gain user buy-in and help staff learn about SharePoint features and facilities.”

“As we were deciding how to implement our design, ICS Solutions were just launching FLEX, and their ‘quick start’ approach was a major selling point. I attended a seminar at ICS’ offices and was thoroughly impressed with their experience and the calibre of clients they had previously worked with. Particularly striking was the intranet ICS had previously designed for the University of Northampton and I knew we wanted something equally as impressive.

Also as a Public authority, I’m constantly aware of the need to ensure we spend our budgets carefully and FLEX seemed the perfect solution, providing tangible deliverables within a controlled budget.” Philippa continued.

To unite all their employees and achieve their overall mission of creating a “One Dorset” they decided upon a comprehensive deployment of SharePoint augmented by the FLEX Automation toolset.

EventsBy standardising information and content management onto a single enterprise SharePoint platform, Dorset were able to identify the considerable benefits in terms of breaking down siloed working and to more effectively repurpose information throughout the organisation. This enabled Dorset to formulate a business case for investment in FLEX.

The deployment was undertaken in less time than a conventional SharePoint development project and delivered a full publishing contemporary intranet, encompassing all the Council’s necessary security and governance policies.

Through the use of FLEX with Office 365, Dorset were able to speed up the delivery of collaborating with external partners by creating Office 365 Partnership Sites and Communities via the FLEX Interface.

Benefits

FLEX has enabled DCC to deliver an easy to use intranet, which acts as a single place for employees to go to access content across SharePoint. Additionally, all employees can now use the Council’s intranet remotely through mobile devices breaking down the siloed working barriers.

The Council is already benefiting from substantially increased employee and partner engagement across the organisation, with the new blogs being particularly popular. As part of an ongoing delivery roadmap DCC are now planning to use FLEX’s rich self-service collaboration capabilities to facilitate the implementation of community sites to further improve employee collaboration and help fulfil their mission of becoming “One Dorset”.

  • Substantial Cost Savings
    FLEX was significantly more cost effective than a traditional bespoke manual deployment and allowed the Council to achieve more with a restricted budget but importantly guaranteed them their required outcome.
  • Accelerated Start Up  
    James Mitchell, SharePoint Technical Lead at DCC, “The out of the box solution was ideal as it allowed rapid application due to the pre-built elements and decisions which would have previously required lengthy debate and consultation were already determined.”
  • Simplified Procurement
    As FLEX is a fully vetted and pre-screened solution it is listed under Cloud Services on the G-Cloud framework, this meant that DCC were able to complete the due diligence and competitive procurement process within a matter of weeks, massively reducing the associated time and costs entailed in undertaking a full OJEU tender process.
  • Empowers Users
    DCC decided to make all their employees content editors of the new intranet. “News articles were previously taking too long to get published, losing their impact due to bottlenecks of requiring Corporate Comms to approve and publish content. Now users are empowered to engage openly with the rest of the Council”, Philippa explained.
  • Less Reliance on IT DepartmentBlog
    With an already overstretched IT department it was fundamental that the solution would alleviate some of their pressures and FLEX did just that. FLEX is architected using search driven technology which means there is less maintenance required and pages are kept up to date. Additionally, the self-service app store model has ensured that SharePoint administration and provisioning costs have been all but eradicated.
  • Infrastructure Architecture
    “The Infrastructure was expertly designed around best practices, which was truly invaluable in an organisation with very little SharePoint experience”, James commented.

 

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